From liberal bias to ‘fake news’: Sean Hannity’s election- season media-bashing from 2012-2020

Abstract: This study analyzes Sean Hannity’s rhetoric about the news media before, during and after the three most recent presidential elections. We treat Hannity’s discourse as metajournalistic discourse (Carlson, 2016) that contributes not just to the public’s understanding and legitimization (or not) of the journalistic profession, but as a political tool. The study aims to gain an understanding of how his discourse about mainstream news media has evolved and contributed to an ecosystem of declining trust in U.S. news media.